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 Hasina 'withdraws' from BCL...................

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PostSubject: Hasina 'withdraws' from BCL...................   Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:54 pm

Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina has decided to withdraw as 'organisational head' of Bangladesh Chhatra League, AL spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam said Saturday.

Ashraf was briefing the media after an emergency meeting of the party presidium, chaired by Hasina Saturday, in the wake of ongoing Chhatra League violence on campuses countrywide.

Ashraf said the government had ordered a severe crackdown against campus violence "starting now".

Asked about BCL activities after Hasina's withdrawal, he said they would go on "peacefully".

"Chhatra League is beset with organisational problems for inefficiency of the central committee," he said, of the ruling AL-backed student body.

He said the government urged all to stop terror activities and extortion in the name of student politics.

He also warned that it was cracking down countrywide on all violence by "students or in the name of students".

"The government has instructed law enforcing agencies to take the sternest action against violence by students leaders, members or activists, or anyone perpetrating violence, extortion, tender rigging in the guise of students," he said.

"The action starts now," said Ashraf.

He said none, not BCL activists or any others, would be spared if they were involved in such criminal acts.

'Parent organisations responsible'

Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner was questioned by reporters about police action against ongoing campus violence and use of arms by the ruling party-backed Chhatra League at a DMP meeting earlier in the day.

He said it was the responsibility of the "parent organisation" and the educational institutions concerned to supThe police, of course, would take all actions against criminal behaviour, he added. ervise students' activities.

Ongoing clashes

Meanwhile, at least 12 people were injured earlier Saturday in Chhatra League factional fighting at Jagannath University.

The violence sparked off at around 11:30am in front of arts faculty between activists led by JagU's BCL unit president and supporters of the unit's general secretary.

"We want peace on the campus. I have asked police not to spare those responsible at any cost," vice chancellor Mesbah Uddin told us.

'Stern warnings'

JagU's BCL unit, among other university units, have faced several stern warnings from Hasina, Awami League and central BCL leaders in past weeks.

Units of the ruling party-backed student organisation have been involved in factional fights, and clashes with rival student bodies, for control of campuses countrywide since January, when AL came to power.

Central BCL leaders were forced to dissolve BCL's JU unit on Feb 17 after recurrent clashes over control of residential halls. But violence has continued unabated on the campus.

Jahangirnagar University saw another bout of violence on Friday as BCL activists wielding machetes, hockey sticks and other lethal weapons in factional clashes that left at least 10 persons injured and some eight dormitory rooms vandalised.
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Hasina 'withdraws' from BCL...................
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